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How to report potholes and car damage this winter

February 19, 2016 by Steven M. Gursten

Our attorneys share a list of pothole vehicle damage claim spots for the state of Michigan, counties and cities

With our unseasonably warm Michigan winter this year, the potholes have “blessed” us with their presence early. Our attorneys are getting more and more people calling our law offices asking what they should do when they’ve run over a big one and sustained some car damage.

Here’s where you can report potholes throughout Michigan.

To report a pothole on state roads

Use MDOT’s Report a Pothole form or call (888) 296-4546 to report potholes on state roads.

Most state roads begin with M, I or US designations (e.g., I-75, M-28, US-23, etc.). Your report will be forwarded to the appropriate MDOT region staff for action.

Here’s information on the claims procedure for handling a pothole damage claim on state roads.

To report a pothole on county roads

Here are websites for Michigan’s larger counties, where you can go online and report potholes:

To report a pothole on city roads

To report a pothole on a city maintained road, call the main number for that city’s department of public works.

Can I make an insurance claim for pothole damage to my car?

Your own auto insurance will likely treat the pothole damage as a collision claim, but whether that’s the case will generally depend on the specific language in your car insurance policy.

The bad news is that pothole claims are almost always smaller claims, but that won’t stop a claim from making  your auto insurance rates go up. I normally advise people to avoid making small insurance claims for this reason.

One suggestion is to purchase added/optional wheel/tire coverage from your dealership when you buy or lease your vehicle.  The coverage more than pays for itself with one claim.

For more information, take a look at my blog post, “Will my car insurance cover the pothole damage claim?”

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